Family Fears

Sean Trull (Greensboro, NC)
Personally, I struggle with acting out. Not because I’m uncomfortable, or because I’m in any physical danger, but because I’m afraid of judgment. Even when I know that yes, now I need to act out, now is when it’s okay to do something about it, I just can’t. There’s always that fear that one day, because I stood up for myself, I’m going to have to deal with it coming back to bite me in the ass. When someone repeatedly uses an incorrect pronoun I really do want to say something, but it’s so much easier just to ignore it, even though it feels so much worse. I like standing up for other people, I can do that, and I just can’t seem to stand up for myself. My goal is to be able to act out, to stand up for myself, even to the more unaccepting parts of my family.
I remind myself every day that I’m strong enough for this
I can stand up for myself and tell them all that this is it
This is who I am and that’s okay, that’s fine with me
I could care less about anything that you think
Granted, I’m still terrified, when someone says my name
My birth one, not my real one, the one I really hate
And there are some people I can face and say “It’s he, not she”
But some that I’m just too afraid, even though I shouldn’t be
Especially my grandmother, my dad’s side, not my mom
Conservative right wing woman, strict, the kind who knows each psalm
Coated in honey and kind intentions but really just wants perfection
Gets you alone so you can “talk” determined to win by attrition
I couldn’t tell you why I’m scared, but I’m terrified of her
She symbolizes someone who could never call me sir
Always “ma’am” and dresses and skirts and hips and “but you’re so pretty”
Well pretty means nothing but shit when you’re me, I would rather be filthy
Months weeks days before, I resolve myself to correct and remind
But the second she saunters her way over here, my resolve weakens and I am resigned
To listen and flinch every time she says she, or her, or anything else about me
That’s false and untrue and it’s more than annoyance I know, I KNOW that she sees
“It doesn’t make sense” She says over and over, “You are a girl, as you’re born you will stay”
I just can’t convince her that I am a boy; to her it seems to be only that way
So silence will reign when it’s my turn to speak, Even though I know I should speak up
And the day that I stand and we see eye to eye will be the day that I’ve had enough